Adonai serves the needs of the disabled and employers alike, and as such we have had success on both sides of the coin. Employers have found great employees and job seekers have found a sense of self-worth through meaningful careers.
Nicholaus' Journey to Employment
After graduating from UW-Milwaukee in 2010, I found myself in a difficult search to find meaningful employment. Even though I had earned my degree, I was told by many employers that I needed real work experience before they would consider me as a candidate. Many employers were also hesitant to give me an opportunity given my disability, I am legally blind.
Tom Gautier and the Adonai Employment staff worked closely with me to understand my passion and career goals. He looked beyond my disability, and focused on my abilities.
Adonai found me an internship at the City of West Allis where I was able to gain real world work experience. While I was earning a paycheck and gaining valuable work experience, Adonai continued to work with me. I received a call from Tom who said he had found the perfect position for me. After interviewing for the job as Fund Development Coordinator for a non-profit called Beyond Vision, I was offered the position. It was Adonai Employment that eliminated the barriers to employment that stood in front of me and put me in position to begin what looks to be a very successful career!
Success in massage therapy
Guy was finishing a degree in Massage Therapy and was referred to Adonai Employment to set up an internship. At Adonai Guy’s case was assigned to Jeffrey Montoya (who in addition to working at Adonai is a certified and licensed massage therapist). Guy’s internship was set up at Core/El Centro a natural healing center in Milwaukee. Guy was able to work for three months at Core/El Centro providing massage therapy and helping with other duties at the center. (It turns out Guy had several skills in addition to massage, including speaking Spanish and the knack for fixing things that made him a valuable part of the staff at Core/El Centro!).
In addition to setting up the internship Jeff was concerned that Guy might have difficulty passing the National Certification Exam for Massage Therapy because memory issues are associated with Guy’s disability. Jeff and Guy discussed the concern with Guy’s DVR counselor, and they agreed that Jeff would do some tutoring to prepare Guy for the exam.
Jeff also guided Guy in requesting some accommodations for the exam. After months of hard work, Guy successful passed the national certification exam and became a certified massage therapist. Adonai also helped Guy complete the paperwork for his State of Wisconsin license.
Almost ready to pursue a permanent position in his field, one more internship was set up at a spa, so that Guy could learn a few more skills in massage therapy – including a wonderful technique giving hot stone massage (we had no shortage of volunteers to be the test clients for that). After a successful internship, Guy was hired into a permanent position at the spa. Adonai provided encouragement, problem solving and follow along to Guy for his first 90 days of employment.
Adonai Employment has served more than 600 clients and worked with over 250 employers since its founding in 2008. We are a growing agency as evidenced by a case load in 2012 that is 400% larger than that first year! This gives us satisfaction, but only because increased activity has not compromised success.
We have assessed and developed work skills for more than two-thirds of our clients through Temporary Work Experiences developed by our team. 70% of these experiences have been completed successfully because we create experiences that are mutually beneficial to our client and the employer. We have also helped well over 200 clients find meaningful employment earned in competitive markets. 90% of those hired into jobs were retained by their employers for at least 90 days.
Securing Employment as a Computer Programer
I want to express my sincerest gratitude and admiration for all that Adonai Employment and the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation have done to help me re-enter the workforce and find a fantastic career! When I first signed up with the DVR, I was impressed with my counselor's level of enthusiasm and confidence that I would soon be working. Together, my counselor and I created a plan of what type of job I would like to obtain, what training would most likely be needed, and the steps I needed to take to ensure my plan was on schedule.
When I was then referred to Adonai Employment to help with my search, I was nothing but pleased! I was very surprised at how much personal attention Tom Gauthier was able to provide; even meeting with me and my DVR counselor to explain my options and finalize my employment plan. When I found the most supportive is that Tom coordinated the interview with my new employer. When I went in for the interview, I was very comfortable and felt that Tom did a great job in matching me to an employer and career that allowed the flexiblity that I needed. Both Tom and my DVR counselor would check in with me weekly to see how I was adjusting to the transition, If I needed attitional resources, etc.
I am now almost to my one year anniversary at my company, and I look forward to many more! Thank you Tom for all your help.